x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Iran vows 'proportionate' response to any strike on nuclear sites

General Yahya Rahim Safavi, quoted by Fars news agency, said however that such an attack was unlikely.

TEHRAN // Iran will respond to any Israeli or US attack against its nuclear sites with a "proportionate" reaction, the military adviser to the country's supreme leader Ali Khamenei said on Saturday.

General Yahya Rahim Safavi, quoted by Fars news agency, said however that such an attack was unlikely.

Despite warnings from Washington and Israel that "all options are on the table" if negotiations between Iran and major powers on Tehran's controversial nuclear programme fail, conditions do not favour an assault, he said.

"They may be able start one but they can not end it and it remains in Iran's hands," the general said.

"The domestic political, economic and social conditions in America and the Zionist regime are not such as to have a new war in the region," he said.

US President Barack "Obama wants to get re-elected (in November) ... the cabinet of Mr (Israeli prime minister Benjamin) Netanyahu is a fragile one," he said.

However, in case of an attack, "we will act against their military operation smartly, proportional to any damage that they inflict on us ... meaning we will hurt them as much as they hurt us."